Tang Soo Do Organizations that focus on kata-based instruction

Discussion in 'Tang Soo Do' started by Makalakumu, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I've been doing some intense research for some projects I've been working on and one of the subjects I've been looking into are the various Tang Soo Do organizations. In particular, I am wondering if there are any organizations that specifically teach Tang Soo Do as a kata-based art. When I say "kata-based" I mean one that includes the striking, joint locking, throwing, pressure point, and defensive concepts that are recorded in Tang Soo Do hyung. Has anyone ever come across an organization like this? If so, who are they? I'd like to make contacts if possible.
     
  2. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    My answer isn't of much help. I can tell you two of the larger orgs (ITF - CS Kim and WTSDA) don't use hyung in the fashion you mention. Their patterns are mostly for rank requirements, for 'art', and for practicing idealized technique. (Yes, I am sure someone will jump in and say their school does - maybe so, but it's not universal from the federation on down.)
     
  3. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    That's been my experience as well. Usually, it is an independent instructor who teaches Bunkai in TSD. I wonder if people would be interested in organizing?
     
  4. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    It depends on the goals I suppose. Are you thinking about putting together a kenyukai or intead more of a formal org with a head instructor/leader, etc?

    I know of a handful of TSD who already blend in material from BJJ/Judo and George Dillman to 'activate' their patterns. They go through a lot of trouble to cross train and honestly the results are a mixed bag IMO, as I don't think the integration is always the most seamless. If someone offered a turnkey pathway from standard TSD towards bunkai oriented karate, I think it would catch on with a small, but very vibrant, group of practitioners. Frankly, there would be interest too from TKD and punch/kick karate types.
     
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  5. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I've been thinking about the kenkyukai model for a long time. I've also thought about the concept of a MOOC and about combining them. There is no way I'd want to start a traditional org. I have so much to learn and there is no way I'd be giving myself any fancy titles, but I would like to organize something and maybe branch out in some way if possible. At the very least, I'll have four clubs, three lead by my students, who are following what I think is a great curriculum that ties it all together in philosophic and organized way.

    I spent more time looking yesterday and I can't find anything like this that targets the TSD community.
     
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  6. JWLuiza

    JWLuiza Black Belt

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    Why a TSD specific? Iain Abernethy's group has done all the work and everything is so darn close anyway.
     
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  7. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Mainly because it's something my black belt students can access. Other than that, it's not so much TSD focused.

    That said, as much as I love Iain, he hasn't produced much material on how to actually teach bunkai on a day to day business level. That is what I focus on.
     
  8. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Has anyone here actually tried to integrate Abernethy's (or McCarthy's or anyone else's) material into an existing system? What were the results like?

    I'm not asking about training with him...
     
  9. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I found that if you try to integrate it in a traditional way, it's problematic. Teaching Bunkai needs a new approach to curriculum.
     
  10. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    That has long been my thought. If you (figuratively) don't practice a system that studies pattern applications in a consistent, skill building approach in the first place, you'd in essence be switching styles. And this with little support depending on where you live in relation to Abernethy, McCarthy, etc.

    If you're willing to switch styles, I think it best just to find a good teacher close enough to you if you're serious about this. I have a close friend who has been adding Combat Hapkido to his TKD through seminars & DVDs for a couple of years now. Also know some others who are going through the BJJ + TSD route. The results are somewhat of a mixed bag in my opinion though my friend is happy enough with what he is getting to press on with Combat Hapkido and blend it into his TKD hyung.

    I look forward to reading more about Makalakula TSD as it continues to grow and mature.
     
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  11. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    For me, its been a process of reverse engineering and identifying the skills I lacked. Then, I went out and trained in those skills. Then, I found that I needed to know more of the history and conceptual nature of what I was dealing, so I found what I needed there. Eventually, I think I concieved of a way it could all be woven together that I believe is close to what was originally taught. I don't know that for sure, but I do know that I like my end product and I think it makes sense.
     
  12. kitkatninja

    kitkatninja Green Belt

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    Not sure what is meant by recorded in Tang Soo Do hyung, but in our association we're taught alot more application of patterns than I learnt in other arts (Ni-sen, shotokan, etc). It's actually part of our grading.
     
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  13. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    How is it used in your grading? What is your teacher looking for? Interesting association. It looks very traditional.
     
  14. kitkatninja

    kitkatninja Green Belt

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    In the adults classes, instead of having just separate one-steps, we also do the application of patterns. Our instructor looks for interpretation of the movements of the patterns as well, this is done in class not just gradings.

    I do believe that this Tang Soo Do association is very traditional (even though it's the only TSD association that I've trained at, it isn't the only art that I've trained in), but then again traditional is one of those fuzzy terms (what may be for one, may not be for another) :)
     
  15. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Including the applications into the one steps is such an easy fix for organizations that don't really want to change very much of their curriculum. That simple change makes the hyung a lot more useful. We're doing something a lot different than that. We practice all of the basics in the application, whatever those basics might be. We practice the application until we have it down. Then we spar a little with the concept and try to test it out. IMO, this is the basic structure of kata based instruction.
     
  16. chodancandidate

    chodancandidate White Belt

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    I am happy to say that my instructor is one of those people who teaches Bunkai as a part of our curriculum. What I have to say, some may not want to here, but here goes. It is not difficult to come up with and teach yourself bunkai. All that has to be done is to think outside the box on your forms. For example, in form #1, kee cho hyung il boo, we all know that the opening sequence is to turn 90 degrees to the left and perform a low block, step and middle punch, then make a 180 degree turn into another low block. Most people would say that when you make the turn, you're turning to face a new opponent. THINK OF HOW UNPRACTICAL THAT IS! Why would you make this gigantic awkward turn to face a new opponent when you haven't even taken out the first opponent? Think about it, a punch to someone's mid section is not a finishing technique! It makes sense that if you're fighting with someone (fighting, not sparring), you would "low block" your opponent's lead hand, perform an outside wrist lock, which brings the opponent's head into your mid-section punch. Then, if you haven't taken the opponent out already, make the turn and take your opponent down! It is really that simple.

    You don't need someone to teach that to you, as long as you have the ability to think outside the box. There is no wrong answer, there is only your interpretation.
     
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  17. kitkatninja

    kitkatninja Green Belt

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    That's right (and as long as it works) :)

    I mean one person that movement is a downward block, for another it pulling someone down then striking, to another it's an arm lock :)
     
  18. reeskm

    reeskm Green Belt

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    I'm curious in general... Since I haven't been to a lot of other style dojo's/dojangs other than as a guest once in a while:
    How exactly would a kata-style/bunkai training method work exactly? What kind of lesson plan or class would that look like?

    Would it be
    1) first learn that kata
    2) learn applications
    3) test them like you do with one steps, three steps or self defense (ho sin sool) drills? or even a free spar test?
    4) discuss
    ?
     
  19. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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  20. reeskm

    reeskm Green Belt

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    LOL thanks for the book link.
    I'll add it to my list of books to read.

    I guess to answer your question - indirectly - it seems you have come up with a new way to teach TSD by focusing chiefly on the hyungs. Since you wrote the book on it, I doubt there are any current organizations that do things your way.

    It's a very interesting concept and in no way do I think it's a bad idea. In fact, it's a great idea.
    That being said, we have a well developed curriculum that is decided upon by senior masters, and it's my job to teach it. Change comes slowly!

    We teach applications, but without reading your whole book - I"m guessing not in the method that you are promoting.
     

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